BANYANA BANYANA IS GROWING UP FAST
SALOU, Spain — Former South African women’s national team captain Amanda Dlamini was proud to see her country represented for the first time in the girls’ draw at the Danone Nations Cup tournament.
Having grown up playing predominately with boys, Dlamini is optimistic the next generation in her country will get a better opportunity to play on all-girls teams, strengthen the women’s game in South Africa along with the national squad,
nicknamed the Banyana Banyana.
“I’m very excited they’re here, in a year as well where we saw Banyana Banyana qualify for their first Women’s World Cup,” Dlamini said Thursday. “Our senior women’s national team and that storyline has been great in my country because girls were able to have a point of reference to say, ‘Oh, actually, that’s the World Cup and the one we’re going to that is similar at the Danone Nations Cup.’
“Hopefully the stories that will be created here, they’ll be able to take back home and tell their friends.”
Dlamini represented South Africa at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
She is playing professionally for JVW in South Africa and is acting as an ambassador for the Danone Nations Cup.
“It’s about grassroots and development, that’s what we’re talking about at the Danone Nations Cup,” Dlamini said. “It’s always so much of a challenge addressing those certain elements of the game, but I think the World Cup this year has influenced women’s soccer in South Africa.
“For me, when you spark that interest, then you have to work with the different associations to provide a platform for these girls to play and develop their game and that’s what this does.”